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Film Society Returns Monday 29 August

Film Society Returns Monday 29 August

GAME OVER: KASPAROV AND THE MACHINE (90 Mins, DVD) Intercut with feature film sequences and structured as a psychological thriller, this compelling film leads us into the brain of the brilliant chess player Gary Kasparov. In 1985, this Russian was the youngest world champion ever. He has been the undisputed leader of the international chess scene ever since. Until May 1997, when, under the scrutinizing eyes of the assembled world press, he lost a match to a machine, the IBM computer, Deep Blue. The controversial match lasted nine days, in which six games were played. Six years later, Kasparov, the International Grand Master, visits the scene of the catastrophe. With a mixture of self-mockery and frustration he recalls memories of his defeat against the machine. Illustrated by archive footage, the match is reconstructed. First, the Grand Master looks too self-confident; later he is exhausted and crushed. Many of the others involved explain how they experienced the match, including scientists and Grand Master consultants who had been responsible for the performance of the supercomputer. Kasparov keeps asserting that he has been taken, in one way or another. To him, a machine is stupid by definition. The scientists, however, are convinced that this was a defining moment: the birth of the ‘intelligent’ computer had become a reality. – International Documentary Festival Amsterdam

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FINAL WEEKEND OF THE NZ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

With the film festival finishing on Sunday, you may like to catch one of these films that are showing over the weekend.

A SEPARATION A secular middle-class family is accused of a crime by an impoverished religious one in a gripping thriller that provides a layered and exceptionally revealing picture of life in Iran. Compelling proof, when we least expected it, that it is still possible for Iranian filmmakers to make films dramatising conflicts that resonate both within and outside the Islamic Republic, A Separation was the hands-down winner at this year’s Berlin Festival. Ironically, the jury awarding the film the top prize (and retooling the principal acting awards to become prizes for the acting ensemble) was supposed to be headed by the political prisoner, Iranian director Jafar Panahi. — BG

ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA “Both beautiful and beautifully observed, with a delicate touch and flashes of humor and horror, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is an ambitious, leisurely inquiry into a specific world – the haunting land of its title – that transcends borders. Touching on life, death and everything in between in 150 minutes, this metaphysical road movie follows a police investigation that, when the story opens, has led its characters into near dark. In time, the light creeps in as one mystery is solved while another remains open… First, though, a group of men – including a local investigator, his subordinate, a prosecutor, a doctor and an accused murderer – will drive around the countryside looking for a buried corpse that, for much of the movie, remains undiscovered if not always unseen. If that makes Once Upon a Time in Anatolia sound like a ghost story, it is, though what haunts this handful of men is less the dead than the lives… that have brought them to the long, undulating road that echoes the movie’s design.” — Manohla Dargis, NY Times

HEARTBEATS “Dolan, plundering world cinema’s entire bag of tricks, makes this familiar tale sing, depicting his characters’ romantic obsession in gorgeous Wong Kar-wai-esque slo-mo and offsetting their lack of self-awareness with Woody Allen-esque direct-camera interviews featuring various people who otherwise play no role in the story. (These interviews are themselves worth the price of admission)… It’s hugely refreshing, given the insane degree to which art cinema is now ruled by what one might call The New Austerity, to see somebody exploring the medium’s lush, seductive, expressionistic possibilities with such unbridled enthusiasm.” — Mike D’Angelo, AV Club

BROTHER NUMBER ONE "In 1978, when future Kiwi Olympian and transatlantic rowing champion Rob Hamill was 14, his older brother Kerry disappeared. Two years later the family learned from a newspaper report that their gentle, joyful number one son had been identified as a victim in a Cambodian death camp. Kerry had been on board his charter yacht Foxy Lady with two other young men when they anchored in Kampuchean waters. Hippie adventurers, they were unaware of the horrors unfolding onshore. Kerry was seized and tortured for two months at the Khmer Rouge slaughterhouse Tuol Sleng (S21). After signing an outlandish confession he was executed on the orders of the infamous Comrade Duch" - BG

Tickets are on sale at Hoyts Northlands. For more information and session times, please visit


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